Mr. Obama did the right thing

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Upon see­ing the head­line on Marc A. Thiessen’s Sept. 13 Thurs­day Opin­ion col­umn, “An ex-pres­i­dent who shat­ters the norms,” I thought he meant for­mer pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s un­prece­dented as­sault on Pres­i­dent Trump that be­gan early in the 2016 cam­paign and con­tin­ues in no un­cer­tain terms. Mr. Bush’s Novem­ber 2017 “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be pres­i­dent” is but one ex­am­ple.

Imag­ine my sur­prise to find Mr. Thiessen ham­mer­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama for not fol­low­ing “the norm” — the ex­pec­ta­tion of the pre­ced­ing pres­i­dent keep­ing mute. Is Mr. Obama ex­pected to silently watch as Mr. Trump breaks ev­ery pres­i­den­tial norm? If so, he would be a silent ac­com­plice.

Thomas Paine wrote, “Th­ese are the times that try men’s souls.” This is one of those times, and any­one who can have a heal­ing ef­fect on the wounds Mr. Trump has in­flicted on our coun­try should speak, es­pe­cially one who has been in the Oval Of­fice.

Ge­orge T. Martin, Bethesda

Marc A. Theis­sen missed the for­est for the trees when he sug­gested that for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama should stay silent in the face of Pres­i­dent Trump’s antics. Mr. Thiessen hinted that for­mer pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush stayed quiet and re­spect­ful for eight years, so why can’t Mr. Obama?

Mr. Bush left of­fice with a 34 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing, the coun­try’s fi­nances in tat­ters and two wars un­der­way. Mr. Obama’s ap­proval on leav­ing of­fice was 59 per­cent. The coun­try stands to ben­e­fit from adults stand­ing up and speak­ing out. Mr. Obama is do­ing just that. Steve Jones, Kens­ing­ton

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